Members of the Classes of 2014 celebrated their upcoming graduation by taking part in two service projects. The effort was created as an opportunity for seniors to give back to the community of which they have been a part for four years in one more way before they graduate. Seniors kicked off a book drive as part of Geneva 2020’s literacy goal and pitched in as the Colleges’ hosted 175 second graders in another Geneva 2020 effort.
Working with the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning (CCESL), a number of seniors helped chaperone local second graders on campus as they moved between sessions focused on empowerment, transitions, culture and the environment. Others participated in the sessions as presenters or by assisting with activities.
The graduating classes also announced the book drive on May 5, asking fellow students, faculty and staff to donate books that will be given to Geneva students as part of the Reading Buddies summer program at the Boys & Girls Club of Geneva. The program looks to combat the “summer slide,” a term used to describe the impact of children not being engaged in literacy activities through June, July and August. According to “Reading is Fundamental,” children who do not read over the summer will lose more than two months of reading achievement and the loss is cumulative. By the end of sixth grade, children who lose reading skills over the summer will be two years behind their classmates.
The College Store is discounting children’s books through May 16 to support the efforts; book donations are still being accepted. The drop off collection for books is the Office of Student Activities in the Scandling Campus Center. The Classes have also asked friends and family coming from home to bring books to the Senior BBQ on May 16 for the final collection.
Last year, the Classes of 2013 began the tradition of organizing a service project on their class year countdown day (so 13 days until graduation for the Classes of 2013). Led by their class presidents Raphael Durand ’13 and Brianne Ellis ’13, the group completed the construction of the Geneva Community Lakefront Playground. The project was a part of a collaborative project between Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva Community Projects, and the City of Geneva through the KaBOOM! a national organization dedicated to saving play for America’s children by building playgrounds across the country.
The Geneva 2020 initiative is rooted in the collective impact model aimed directly at ensuring that high school students in the local community have the skills necessary to graduate from high school and to effectively pursue college. The program has already helped move the local high school graduation rate from 70% in 2010 to 82% in 2013, and to increase the number of local high school students entering college from 74% in 2009 to 76% in 2013. This year, the School District increased its national standing in U.S. News and World Report moving from 141 to 114 in the list of public schools in New York State.
Seniors are also invited to participate in two other service opportunities taking place before graduation:
On Friday, May 16, there will be a tour of the Colleges’ farm, followed by a service project to turn over the garden at the farm. A group of students is needed to help with this project. A shuttle will loop from Medbery parking lot to the farm.
Also on Friday, volunteers will be getting ready for the Barn Sale. Student volunteers are needed to help organize items for the sale.
Email Jessie Marullo, email@example.com to sign up for either of these projects.